Dog fouling

Dog fouling is a major issue for many of our towns and parishes. It is the most offensive type of litter on our streets and it is consistently raised as a public concern.

Dog fouling is not only unpleasant, it's dangerous. The biggest threat to public health from dog excrement is toxocariasis. This is an infection of the roundworm toxocara canis. The eggs of the parasite can be found in soil or sand contaminated with faeces and if swallowed, result in infection that lasts between six and 24 months.

Symptoms include eye disorders, vague ache, dizziness, nausea, asthma and, in extremely rare cases, seizures/fits. Often the eggs are ingested when passed to the mouth by the hands, but this can also occur through contact with dogs or other inanimate objects including the wheels of toys and the soles of shoes. Infected soil samples are often found in play areas and as a result, toxocariasis most commonly affects children between 18 months and five years.

Whose responsibility is it to clear away dog fouling?

It is the responsibility of the dog(s) owner or the person in charge of the dog(s) to clear up any dog foul left by their dog. If you fail to clean up after your dog(s) and are witnessed, you could be reported to the District Council who may take formal action. 

The council has a district wide Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in place relating to Dog Fouling, which means any individual caught dog fouling and not removing the waste can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. The council can also issue Fixed Penalty Notices to any persons who do not carry an appropriate device to remove dog waste (i.e. a dog waste bag). More information about PSPOs can be viewed on the Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) page.

The council can also look to serve those dog owners who persistently allow their dogs to foul with a Community Protection Notice, under the same act. This defines dog fouling as Persistent; Unreasonable; and have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of people living or working in the vicinity.

Not being unaware that the dog has fouled, or not having a suitable means of removing the faeces is not a reasonable excuse for failing to clean up after your dog(s).

What can I do about dog fouling?

Many people find dog fouling offensive and want to do something about it. There is a lot of information and free resources to be found on the Keep Britain Tidy Website.

Check with your Town or Parish Council if they have a dog warden – if they do, let them know where the fouling is taking place.

If you know who is allowing their dog(s) to foul, have witnessed an incident and are willing to make a formal witness statement to the District Council we may be able to take formal action based on this. Please complete the online form below to report this.

button | Report dog fouling
accordion | District-wide Dog Fouling Public Space Protection Order Frequently Asked Questions

District-wide Dog Fouling Public Space Protection Order Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Public Space Protection Order

Public Space Protection Orders relate to activities taking place which are or may be detrimental to the local community's quality of life. The Public Space Protection Order for dog fouling and dog control is aimed at preventing and reducing this antisocial behaviour and to help promote responsible dog ownership.

What does the Dog Fouling Public Space Protection Order involve?

The order requires people in charge of dog(s) in any public open space in West Lindsey to:

  • pick up immediately after the animal has fouled
  • dispose of the waste appropriately – in a public bin, or at home
  • carry something to pick up dog waste with, showing it to the enforcement officer if asked, regardless of whether the dog has fouled

How will the Public Space Protection Order be enforced?

Any individual observed by an authorised officer breaching the Public Space Protection Order will be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £100. Residents will be able to report issues with dog fouling to us. We will then carry out targeted patrols of that area.

How will the enforcement work in practice?

The Public Space Protection Order is not aiming to catch out responsible dog owners. Any officer enforcing the Public Space Protection Order will take a common sense approach and base this on the risk to the public. For example, we may choose to approach dog owners who are walking dogs in areas on the same open land as children’s play parks. 

Will signs be erected across the district?

Signs will be erected only in problematic areas. Electronic copies of signs will be provided to all parish councils or community groups who will be able to put them up in any areas they wish.

How many dog bags should I carry?

There is no set limit. You should carry enough to ensure that you can clean up after your dog. We believe that most responsible dog owners carry a supply of bags. Running out of bags or forgetting to pick one up will not be deemed as a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with the order.

What does carry a device or other suitable means to remove dog waste mean?

Usually this will mean that you carry dog bags to remove waste, however other pieces of equipment are available and may be carried by dog owners. Suggesting that you would use your hands would not be deemed a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with the order.

Where should I dispose of dog waste?

If your dog defecates on public land, the bagged waste can be placed in any public litter bin, dog waste bin or household waste bin. It is always the responsibility of the owner or person in control of the dog at the time to dispose of the waste responsibly.

I’ve bagged my dog’s mess but there is no bin nearby. What should I do?

If there are no bins nearby you must keep hold of your bagged dog waste until you reach a public litter bin or dog waste bin, alternatively it can be taken home and put into your household waste bin.

Can I come back and clear the mess later or collect the bag I have hidden or left?

No, the mess deposited by your dog must be cleared immediately and any bag containing that mess must be removed without any delay.

I did not see my dog foul, is it still an offence?

When you are out walking your dog it will be your responsibility to watch your dog at all times and to ensure you clean up after it. Being unaware of the defecation (whether by reason of not being in the vicinity or otherwise), will not be deemed as a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with the order.

contact | Antisocial behaviour team
Antisocial behaviour team

West Lindsey District Council
Marshall’s Yard
DN21 2NA
United Kingdom